This is the first Original Six Final since the Montreal Canadiens defeated the New York Rangers in five games in 1979. Since the League expanded for the 1967-68 season, there have been six Original Six matchups in the Final, all of them coming between 1971 and 1979.
The Bruins surprised the Pens, taking a game on the road, doing everything needed: playing physical and knocking the Pens' stars off their games, matching speed where possible and Tuukka Rask had no faults.
At the end of the second period, with the Bruins up 1-0, the teams collided, and a scrum ensued at center ice. Rask took a bump from Sidney Crosby, who then took a little stick from Rask and gave Rask a few words as he headed back to the other players.
The last four Stanley Cup champions will battle it out the rest of the way.
The Chicago Blackhawks, won both game 6 and won game 7 (in overtime!), with some controversial refereeing. Hopefully it's something that will be left behind.
Despite win-loss records during the regular season both match-ups look tight. The Penguins swept the season series against the Bruins, but all three games were decided by one goal. The Blackhawks won the season series versus the Los Angeles Kings 2-1 with two of three games also being one-goal affairs.
The NY Times makes the numbers clear:
Campbell had two goals, the second scored into an empty net with 51 seconds left. Over the course of the five games, the line of Campbell, Thornton and Daniel Paille produced four goals (three by Campbell), six assists and the aforementioned fight. They completely dominated the Rangers’ fourth-liners and even their Ranger superiors. Rick Nash and Ryan Callahan? One goal each.
Campbell and Thornton each fought once during the series. Derek Dorsett was the opponent for both. Thornton, who fought Dorsett in the final game said, "I thought he was trying to take liberties on my linemate. I wasn't OK with that, and that's the end of it."
MacKinnon along with Seth Jones has been in a season-long battle for the top-ranked prospect for the 2013 NHL draft but the 17-year-old from Cole Harbour, Nova Scotia raised his game to another level on the biggest stage of Canadian junior hockey.
MacKinnon scored two hat tricks on his way to seven goals and six assists in just four games as he was the standout player in the tournament, leading scoring with 13 points.
All eyes will be on the 2013 NHL Entry Draft when the Memorial Cup kicks off in Saskatoon this weekend. The Saskatoon Blades, Portland Winterhawks, London Knights and Halifax Mooseheads will battle it out to be crowned Canadian Hockey League champions. But what makes this version of the tournament even more intriguing is the amount of top-ranked talent for the forthcoming draft that will be on display.
For the first time in Memorial Cup history the top-three ranked players will all be on the ice and there are eight players ranked in the top-40 North American skaters by Central Scouting.
Portland defenceman Seth Jones is the top-ranked player and all eyes will be on Saturday evening's game between the Winterhawks and Mooseheads will go up against Halifax's dynamic duo Nathan MacKinnon and Jonathan Drouin, ranked #2 and #3 on the final rankings.
Let's take a closer look at the team's competing at the Credit Union Centre.
After three game 7s the Conference Semifinal matchups are set. Two Original Six series, the Battle of California and Sidney vs the last remaining Canadian team in the playoffs.
The Toronto Maple Leafs and New York Islanders both snapped playoff droughts and were both eliminated in close, hard-fought series. The Islanders put up a fight against a Pittsburgh Penguins team many expected to sweep the #8 seed. The Maple Leafs came as close as a team can to moving on, losing in game 7 overtime after the Boston Bruins made a late dramatic comeback. Both teams are young & look hungry for wins. It’d be surprising to see one of them not make the playoffs and advance next season.
Ben has once again put up our previews with records, head-to-head match-ups, season fight history, line-up advantages and his own predictions. Check them out and leave your vote.
Both the New York Islanders and New York Rangers are down 3-2 in their series against the Pittsburgh Penguins and Washington Capitals, respectively. Game 6 is a home game for both New York teams and the NY metro area could cease to have a home team within a day without a win.
Both of the Isles-Pens games on Long Island were close games, with the score teetering back and forth. Will we see more of that, or can the Penguins re-create game 1 & 5 on the road?
The home team has won every game in the Rangers-Caps series so far, giving a hint of a game 7 on Monday.
After a couple of rough games between the Ottawa Senators and Montreal Canadiens things got nasty fast in Sunday night's game three. The first period featured ten penalties with six of those being roughing minors.
In the third period the Sens took a 4-1 lead after Kyle Turris scored his first of the postseason. On the ensuing faceoff Ryan White and Zack Smith exchanged a shove, then White gave Smith a two-hander and everyone on the ice, outside of the goaltenders, paired off.
Jared Cowen grabbed White quickly. Smith wound up facing off against the much smaller, but always game Francis Bouillon. Rounding out the line brawl: Chris Neil took on Travis Moen, Chris Phillips went with Jarred Tinordi and Matt Kassian quickly had Colby Armstrong pinned to the ice. Kassian and Armstrong didn't necessarily deserve the majors everyone else received, but it's hard to blame the officiating crew for keeping it easy (on the scoresheet only) in this situation.
The Senators reflected the scoreboard in the fights, taking out Montreal decisively. Ottawa scored again just four seconds later, making the score 5-1.
Our Conference Quarterfinal previews are up. As I do my non-playoff player impression by squeezing in a quick trip to Vegas, Ben has put our classic previews with records, head-to-head match-ups, season fight history, line-up advantages and his own predictions. Check them out and cast your vote for which team you think will win.